Last Night: The Cure
Friday, June 13, 2008
Better Than: Explaining to your parents why straight guys can wear lipstick.
Diehard fans of the Cure were in luck this Friday the 13th when the band performed a set lasting more than three hours, including four encores and jammed full of hit songs spanning the band’s 32-year history.
The internationally-acclaimed band drew an eclectic crowd of everything from Hot Topic gothed-up preteens to South Beach clubbers and corporate-minded baby boomers. Even though the BankAtlantic Center was only open to half its capacity; it appeared almost sold out.
Making an expected epic-level entrance, the band kicked off their 36-song set with “Plainsong” from 1989’s Disintegration album. Starry outer space images were featured on a huge screen behind the band. The evening was loaded with crowd favorites, including “Boys Don’t Cry,” “Letter to Elise,” “Just Like Heaven” and “Close To Me.” New songs from the group’s upcoming album were also performed, including “Sleep When I’m Dead” and “The Perfect Boy.”
The Cure showed no signs of aging. It was almost as if no time had passed since their debut release. Lead man Robert Smith may almost be 50 years old, but his voice couldn’t be more pristine and true to its original sound. Probably the most overheard statement from fans was that they couldn’t believe how great Smith sounded. Image-wise, the band is obviously older, even though Smith still dons his full makeup and spidery hair. Bassist Simon Gallop looks like a quintessential ‘50s rocker in skinny pants (which actually looked liked tights), black boots and a leather jacket. The worst choice of outfit award definitely goes to guitarist Porl Thompson, who flaunted shiny leather pants and a fishnet shirt reminiscent of the ’90s fetish scene.
The performance was essentially flawless. Smith offered little conversation between songs, and mostly gave quick thank-yous to the audience. The band kept a roadie busy with beer runs in between songs. Strobe lights flashed and album-inspired art flicked on the huge screen behind the stage. Some of the most exciting moments were when the entire arena danced and sang along to “Friday I’m In Love” and “Lullaby.” One of the only disappointments I had was that the band didn’t play “Fascination Street,” but with such an extensive set it seems ridiculous to even complain about that.
The absolute worst part of this show experience was the crowd, who were, for the most part, a rowdy bunch of jack-and-coke drinking preps or clubbers. I wondered if some of these people even knew more than two songs by the Cure. One chick proceeded to turn every song into a lap dance for her boyfriend, while another bro threatened to punch a guy when he wouldn’t sit down during “Pictures of You.” Uh, yeah, way to get into the spirit, guys. The best sight was a dude directly across from our section who wore a bright pink shirt and performed animated air drums to every song. It became a funny distraction for everyone on our half of the arena—but hey, at least this guy was into the music. Audience distractions aside, by the end of the night it was apparent that the Cure are not only still holding their own, but they remain one of the most dynamic, powerful bands of our time.
It’s also worth noting that opening act 65daysofstatic put on a fantastic half-hour show. This instrumental, atmospheric rock quartet from England reminded me of why I love music. They packed a tight set with lots of grunge and metal energy. It was definitely worth getting to the show early for these guys and I will be sure to catch them if they ever pass this way again.
Personal Bias: The Cure has been a staple in my music collection for as long as I can remember.
Random Detail: Robert Smith wears MAC lipstick shade Ruby Woo.
By the Way: The Cure’s upcoming album (rumored to be titled 4:13) is set for release this September 13th, with singles debuting on the 13th of each month leading up to that.
– Monica Cady